Solving complex ecological, social and economic problems

Sustainability Research at Simon Fraser University

SFU is home to at least 340 sustainability researchers across all campuses and faculties who develop solutions that simultaneously support ecological health, social wellbeing and economic prosperity.  They address the interconnectedness of ecological, social and economic issues; contribute toward solving sustainability challenges like climate change, global poverty, inequality, natural resource depletion and environmental degradation; and engage community members through knowledge and action to achieve positive social, economic and environmental outcomes. 

Featured SFU sustainability researcher

Check out some amazing sustainability researchers and learn more about their work. Features are updated or changed on a semesterly basis. If you'd like to get a feature or share your research projects, kindly send an email to Kilim Park at

Meg Holden

Meg Holden is Director of the Urban Studies Program and Professor of Urban Studies and  Geography at SFU. She holds a PhD in Public and Urban Policy from the New School for Social Research, a MSc Geography from Rutgers University and a BSc(Hons) Geography from the University of Victoria. Her research program examines urban policy, planning and social aspects of sustainable development intentions and transitions in cities and communities, with foci in measurement, social and community qualities and theories, and local democracy and justice.

Dr. Holden's featured research project is Ecourbanism Worldwide. Following a 5 year effort (2014-2019) to catalogue and understand model ecourban neighbourhoods around the world, the project has grown into an international research network, which has recently published an edited volume on model sustainable neighbourhoods in different parts of world, (re)Penser la ville du XXIe siècle: 20 ans d'écoquartiers dans le monde (2019), which is available in French. Also see the research project's open access article in Sustainability here and a special issue of the open access journal Articulo Journal of Urban Research guest edited by the research group here

Dr. Holden supervises graduate students working in urban sustainability, urban planning, urban development policy, public participation processes, and resilience and transitions thinking.

Read more about Dr. Holden's work via her Routledge author profile page, her profile page on The Conversation, on the Canadian Index of Well-Being webpage, and a recent essay for the Great Transition Initiative.

View Dr. Holden's website here.


Taco Niet

Taco Niet, PhD, PEng is Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at the School of Sustainable Energy Engineering at SFU. He is an expert in energy systems modeling and holds PhD, MASc and BEng from the University of Victoria.

His research deals with energy systems modelling, energy storage technologies, integration of renewable/variable technologies and climate change mitigation and adaptation. Dr. Niet focuses on addressing systemic challenges in the energy system including integration of variable renewables and working with emerging economies.  Recent modelling work has addressed the nexus of climate, land, energy and water interactions in a combined modelling framework.

Dr. Niet teaches a wide range of courses, including those on instrumentation, systems design and modelling, control systems and instrumentation, strength of materials, technology and society.

Dr. Niet supervises graduate students in research areas related to systems modelling, focussing on building tools that help society and policy makers effectively address climate and other system impacts and trade-offs.

Read more about Dr. Niet over on his faculty profile here.

Find a researcher

You can view a full list of SFU's sustainability researchers based on the institution's AASHE 2018 research database submission here. The Vice-President Research Office has also created a database of SFU researchers that you can access here